Covers of Note: The Rebel Light, Be My Baby


The Rebel Light, of Los Angeles, California took a shot at The Ronettes classic – always a bold move – and in their case a successful one. They retain the massiveness of the original sound but add some of their own summery shine and the final result is warm, expansive and delightful. Bonus facts: they recorded the vocals in their bathroom and the drums in a shed. And for any of you who might be thinking hey sound a little bit like the Beach Boys, well, you are not wrong, however, when the actual Beach Boys covered this song in 2000, Brian Wilson sang it like he had an anchor attached to his ankle and was being dragged out to sea. I also found an Mike Love version from 1981 which is slightly perkier but yet still doesn’t sound quite right – too much wobble-fuzzy synthesizer, maybe. Meanwhile, here is what The Rebel Light sound like left to their own devices:

Bobby Bare Jr. and Young Criminals’ Starvation League, Undefeated


Undefeated, which comes out today (April 15) is Bobby Bare Jr‘s first full-length release since Storm — A Tree — My Mother’s Head (2010). Storm was a solo effort, and landed more on the country end of the spectrum. On Undefeated, he’s backed by a full band, and the tunes are pure roadhouse rock n’ roll: sometimes gritty and aggressive, other times playful. The first thirty seconds of the first track – North of Alabama by Mornin’ – is a burst of static, the audible of equivalent of a fuse being lit and slowly burning down. The rest of the song – the rest of the record, really – is a meditation on the shape of the resulting explosion. The Big Time, a dry, biting, carefully observed exploration of changes wrought by success, is an example of the lighter fare: He’s currently on tour with Cory Branan – New York, your show is this Saturday, at the Mercury Lounge – and in some cities, the documentary about his life Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost) will be screened before the show. You can also rent it from the REELHOUSE website.

Milan Jay, Get Ghost


And now, from Milan Jay (scrappy little band of my heart, west of Ireland division:): Get Ghost. The song drops this Friday, and on Saturday, accompanied by their brand new drummer, they play their first show in 18 months in Egan’s Basement in Ballinasloe, Galway. The rest of the new record will be along later this year; in the meantime, if you liked that, take a skimmy through their back catalog. It’s good stuff.

Covers of Note: The Emperors of Wyoming, Rebirth of the Cool


Today in country covers of rock songs: Rebirth of the Cool by the Afghan Whigs as re-imagined by The Emperors of Wyoming (Phil Davis: lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, Pete Anderson: bass, 12 string guitar, guitars, vocals, Butch Vig: drums, electric guitars, keyboards, vocals and FL Anderson: lead Guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, accordion, banjo). They give it that classic high-lonesome sound: And this is what they sound like left to their own devices:

Late Night Listening: Still Parade, Fields


Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Fields, the title track of the latest EP from Still Parade (Niklas Kramer and friends; due to arrive in May) is a delightfully dreamy pop song and a little bit bouncier that some of their other work, which tends to be fuzzier and slower. All of it is perfect for winding down after a long day.

Covers of Note: Bad Moon Rising, Mourning Ritual


This is Bad Moon Rising, originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival, but here brought to you by Mourning Ritual feat. Peter Dreimanis of July Talk. You may have heard it if you’ve been watching The Walking Dead or Teen Wolf; if not, know that this version of the song is the complete opposite of the bouncy, jangly original. It also appears to be Mourning Ritual’s only tune. Here’s hoping they put out some more. Bad Moon Rising (Cover) by Mourning Ritual

The Mercy Beat, Sweet


The Mercy Beat are (possibly international) gentlemen (and maybe ladies?) of mystery for right now, so all I can tell you is 1) they are currently in Los Angeles 2) this is their most recent song and 3) it is mellow and lovely. Also, I am pretty sure the sly echo of “Mersey Beat” in their name is not an accident. And I have a very strong suspicion that I should know that voice.